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Problem with the F: drive on my laptop

A few years back when I bought my laptop (Dell E1505 w/XP Media Edition) I think I messed something up when trying to set up my wireless network, fortunately I think it can be corrected. When I plug my WD Passport external HD into my desktop I can click on MY COMPUTER and see it listed under drive F: When I left click on it I can see all of it's contents. When I plug it into my laptop and click on MY COMPUTER drive F: has the same icon as my drive C: and drive D: (a picture of drive) except it has a little pipe coming out of the bottom and goes left and right (sorry I don't know the proper name of this icon but I am assuming it's an icon for a network drive). When I left click the F: drive I get a OPEN WITH window asking me to choose a program to open File: F:\ with. A file? F: is supposed to be the Passport in my case. However, when I open Windows Explorer I can click on the F: drive (which has the same icon next to it) and I then get the contents of my Passport. But unlike my desktop where I can right click on the F: drive from the MY COMPUTER screen to format my Passport, I can't do this from my laptop. Can anyone help me figure out what I've done and fix it. I'm guessing I may need to add a drive to my laptop since, perhaps F: is needed for the wireless connection. Thanks for any help.

Jon

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This is what we are seeing when...

In reply to: Problem with the F: drive on my laptop

A new virus is going around. On the machine that works, please rename autorun.* to oldauto.*

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I don't believe this has anything to do with a virus.

In reply to: This is what we are seeing when...

I have had this issue going on for over two years. It happened at the exact same time I was setting up my wireless net. I'm just fed up with it and want to fix it. I've used Norton NIS and Avast since the problem first occured and I have not had a virus detected.

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So on the good machine.

In reply to: I don't believe this has anything to do with a virus.

Is there any autorun.* files on the drive?

Please apply yourself to the discussion. This is a discussion forum and not tech support. Give feedback so we don't waste posts. As to Norton, given it's track record on malware let's use what we've learned and look for the usual cause first.
Bob

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Here is some info

In reply to: So on the good machine.

Bob,

I apologize. On the Passport XHD there are some AUTORUN files and folders(autorun.inf, and an autorun folder). When I plug the same XHD (or anything else for that matter) into my desktop the problem does not occur. This same problem happens on my laptop no matter what I plug into it (iPod, etc.). Thanks for helping me with this.

Jon

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And we don't want those AUTORUN

In reply to: Here is some info

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I'll try that but...

In reply to: And we don't want those AUTORUN

Is there anything myself or the person helping me set up my wireless network/file sharing could have done to cause this? Thanks.

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No. It wasn't you.

In reply to: I'll try that but...

The autorun pests, malware is fairly new and spreading like wildfire. All I can offer is to bolster your defenses with new tools and learning what these files are and consider if you really need them or are they just pests.

More at http://www.download.com/Autorun-Eater/3000-2239_4-10752777.html

"As more and more malwares resort to 'autorun.inf' file tactics, there has been a need for such a tool, especially for new users. Autorun Eater protects you by warning you when a suspicious 'autorun.inf' file is detected on your storage device, thus preventing accidental execution of the malware file."

Bob

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